The Astrological Journal March 2014
Carole Taylor's Editorial
Surely one of the most notable features of astrology is its capacity to stand the test of time. An astrological perspective seems to be present in just about every culture for which we have any kind of historical record - and even if Western astrology has a fairly select provenance in the classical ancient world, it seems intrinsic to humanity to seek meaning in what the Babylonians described as 'the book of heaven'. Although separated by time, we are linked to our astrological ancestors through a shared love of the stars and our ability to find significance in the patterns of the night sky.
We might talk of astrology as a living tradition with ancient roots, whose knowledge is passed on with great care from generation to generation, as both a practical craft and a repository of timeless philosophical and spiritual wisdom. Each generation takes the ideas and practices of those who have gone before, testing and honing and adding to themtheir own observations, so that the work of each new generation has the potential to be richer and deeper than the last. Whatever kind of astrology you are interested in and whatever your point of view, we all draw on the work of past practitioners and benefit fromtheir experience.
This issue's Feature Section, then, centres around Classical Perspectives in astrology, with three writers showing us some of the techniqus and practices of 'classical' astrology, but in ways which cannot help but deepen and enrich our current thinking. I am reminded again of the long tradition of our art, its modern forms built on the accumulated wisdom of centuries of practice and on the work of some of the most accomplished thinkers in history. In the capable hands of three scholars - Lee Lehman, Dorian Greenbaumand Chris Mitchell - the perspectives of classical astrology come alive, as profound and relevant as they ever were. As Harold Macmillan observes in his quote on this page*, to observe tradition is to hold the link between the ages - and for us as astrologers, our work is arguably deepened and made more meaningful when it is a fruitful combination of tried-and-tested method alongside contemporary thinking.
Talking of the passing on of timeless wisdom, this month sees the publication of the AA-sponsored translation of André Barbault's classic work, L'Astrologie Certifiée. Given the title of The Value of Astrology in this new incarnation, it is the only full translation of one of Barbault's books into the English language, and is therefore a rare chance for the English-speaking world to access the wonderful writing of one of themost important astrologers of our time. Heartfelt thanks must go to the translation team, Kate Johnston and Didier Castille, to the AA's President Roy Gillett, and of course to André himself, for bringing this project about. (You can buy it from the AA's online shop.)
In this issue we also say a final goodbye to two much-admired figures in the astrological world who have died in the past few months - to Dr Mary Austin, a co-founder of the Astrological Association in 1958 and someone who worked closely in the AA's early years alongside Bridadier Roy Firebrace; and to Mavis Klein, a well-known and respected figure in our community. For certain they will live on in our memories, and in the legacy of their creative work and the value of their service to astrology overmany decades.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Journal.
This is the editorial from the March 2014 edition of the Astrological Journal, the UK's premier astrological magazine.
*"Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, it means that the dead are living." - Harold Macmillan (British Prime Minister 1957-1963)